On this past Tuesday night, November 17th, the Tallahassee community came out to celebrate Magnolia Grove Plaza’s grand opening. Magnolia Grove is located just a few minutes from Florida State’s campus. Besides being Tallahassee’s newest shopping center, this plaza is also the city’s ultimate hub for savory food. Blaze Pizza, Smashburger, and Mission BBQ are the trio of restaurants that make up this ideal dining situation. Pizza, burgers and BBQ all in one place, what more could a college student ask for?
It was a special night for Blaze Pizza in particular because along with the plaza’s opening it was their grand opening as well. The atmosphere was electric with customers bursting out of the front doors. Business partners of the establishment circulated the room bringing warm smiles and conversation to every table that they stopped at. One of those partners is named Colins Cogan who is pictured below. We had the chance to talk all of the owners and each one was more charismatic than the last.
Blaze Pizza has a unique set up that is similar to a restaurant like Chipotle in that it has an assembly line of employees creating your custom meal. Blaze Pizza does have some signature pizzas like the Red Vine, White Top, and Veg Out that are sure to satisfy the artisan in you. However, the option to create your own pizza is their most popular choice. It helps you to avoid the hassle of dealing with your less adventurous friends who think that the idea of adding actual toppings to a pizza is ludicrous. You get to create your own perfect, personal pizza.
Besides pizza, Blaze also offers their signature beverage: blood orange lemonade. This lemonade is so tangy yet sweet it’s like drinking your favorite sour candy. Oh, and don’t think that Blaze skimped on dessert. Their featured dessert is a s’more pie and yes there is fire involved. They pop this decadent dessert into their flaming ovens to produce a perfectly gooey and warm s’more. Also, if you haven’t already guessed, Blaze Pizza is the franchise that LeBron is backing. Maybe he’ll even make a trip down to Tallahassee soon? Blaze Pizza also has a new location coming in late February that is right on Tennessee Street, so get excited.
If you’re feeling more in the mood for an All-American burger, then Smashburger is conveniently located only a couple of steps away. Smashburger is redefining how people think about burgers. They want eating a burger to be an experience rather than just a convenience. Smashburger’s burgers range from beef to chicken and even to black bean. The Tallahassee locations feature a signature burger aptly named The Panhandle. This burger features Wicked Pimina Cheese, Gluden’s Spicy Brown Mustard, fried green tomatoes, shredded leaf lettuce, and mayo on an egg bun. Now that is a mouthful, literally.
They also feature salads that are so fresh that you can see the condensation forming across the cold, metal bowls that they are served in. Lastly, what would a burger place be without milkshakes? The particular one that caught our eye was the Salted Caramel Butterfinger malt. It almost sounds too good to be true, but lucky for you it’s not.
The restaurant that rounds out this savory trio is Mission BBQ. They’re not yet open for business, but we are eagerly awaiting for them to open their doors this coming April. The people behind Mission BBQ are huge supporters of all of our service men and women and they believe that there is nothing more American than BBQ. This restaurant is a meat lover’s dream-come-true. They have everything from brisket to chicken to sausage and of course they also have ribs. Their sides include all of the classics: mac and cheese, baked beans, green beans, cold slaw, and freshly cut fries.
Mission BBQ gives customers the option of purchasing an American Heroes Cup. Through purchasing this special cup that you get to keep, $2 will be donated to support the meaningful work of local non-profit organizations within Tallahassee and the Wounded Warrior Project. With options like this one, it is clear to see why the owners decided upon Mission as the name for their BBQ restaurant.